June 29, 2009

Pics on My Gallery Wall For Sale

Monday morning. Such a full day ahead but wanted to check in here and say a big hello. All is good at our house, my father in law was in the town over the weekend and left to head back home in the wee hours of the morning today. We might get to see him one more time before he heads overseas to start his new job which everyone is excited about. Yesterday after church he had his grandkids just to himself without us "parents" getting in the way of the fun. Rob and I were prepping for our VBS a.k.a. Summer Bible Adventure.

Last night was our first night of VBS themed Paul and the Underground Church by Group Publishing. It is so fun. Denise asked me to help her in the Musical Instrument Shop. The kids get to make tambourine's. During the time of Paul many of the Roman shop owners were believers in many different gods. The Christ followers were being persecuted and the church was growing in leaps and bounds. I didn't want to be a pagan shop owner that was snarky to the Christians so I told Denise I would be a Christian who was a part of the underground church, working for her. Then she came up with the idea I would be her slave. It turned out so good. The kids love it. Denise gives them the rundown on the craft, then she talks to them all along talking about the heretic Jesus. I am giving Jesus the thumbs up behind her back. Then once the tambourines are made she leaves the shop and leaves me in control, while she is gone we all sing a song about Jesus while banging our newly made tambourines and I give each child the following "secret" note.

Dear Friend,
I want to encourage you in your faith. I too am a follower of the One True Christ and have experienced persecution for my faith. I am a slave that is in service to a pagan shop owner. I pray for her each day that she will come to know and love the Christ we follow.
I pray that you will be strong in your faith all your days even in times of persecution. Please keep me in your prayers to be faithful to Christ and to be bold in my words about Him.
Your sister in Christ,
Tamatha

Then I tell them to put the note away before the shop owner comes back in or she will be very mad at me. The kids totally get into it, and as they are leaving the store I am wishing them strength in their faith and high fives for Christ and then they are whispering, "I've got my note" and they point to their pocket or show me it crumpled up in their hand.

I love that we are having fun with the booth beyond the tambourines ; )

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I decided to close down my gallery/studio. I am not up there but 2-4 or so times a month, I show up and everything is dusty and looks so lonely. I have loved having it, my original intent was to move my complete office up there, and found that I didn't have enough time on my computer up there without going back to the office at night which I didn't want to do. So I brought my office back home and met occasional clients and showed my work at artwalk. Almost all of my work is referral based, so having my work up on the wall was not integral to booking. I am bummed about not having my pics up to see, but I am also relieved to not have to think about rent. There are so many more places I would feel good about that money going to, my sponsored kids with Compassion, friends leaving for the mission field, and of course contributing to my family's budget.

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I will be open through July so if you have a picture on my wall I would love to sell it to you at a discounted rate, I would much rather have those pretty pics on display somewhere rather than in a closet at my house....or horrors...in the trash.

Thinking of the names and faces I have on my wall....Benton, Alexandria C., Hallie, Melton girls, Ella, Nic and Vanessa, Kayla and Daz, Ash and Irwin, Ashley and Kalem, Lauren, Taryn and Chase, Rachel...many more that are not coming to my mind right now. If you have seen your pic or your child's pic on my wall at some point then they are up there.

Call me, email me, facebook me, if you want to come by my studio and see your pics, I will be there for Artwalk July 9th from 6-8 pm and you can cash and carry.

Most images are 12x18 and backed with art board, if they are not framed they are $15 if they are framed then $35. These prices are WAY below cost.

June 25, 2009

Billy Jean's Knocking At My Door

When I was in high school I can vividly remember walking to auto shop class singing, "Billy Jean's Knocking At My Door," and being corrected by someone telling me that those were NOT the words to that song. Facebook and Twitter are awry with memories of songs and happenings. He was on top of the world, and then he fell. I am sure I will be listening to some old MJ music over the next couple of days, and it will be all over the television.

Farrah Fawcett, I must have been about 12 years old and I asked my mom if I could put "the" poster up on my wall. I wanted to look just like her. She was a Texas girl, so she had even more than her looks going for her. She always seemed a bit ditzy when being interviewed and then their was the infamous David Letterman interview that really solidified she was a bit air headed. But then I watched her story on cancer and gained renewed respect and amazement for just how strong she was and how hard she fought to win her battle with cancer. I pray for her son, Redmond, who seems to have lost his way and who loves his mom so very much.

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What else is happening? Working on the computer, ladies class in the morning, cleaning the house and getting ready for Rob's dad to visit us. Busy days. I spent some much needed time in scripture this morning and I have had a more productive day than I had hoped. Starting my day grounded in the Lord is such a blessing.

Many people from church know Jan Greenwood who used to live in Abilene was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and started her chemo journey yesterday. She has a blog at www.jangreenwood.blogspot.com if you want to keep up with her and support her with your prayers and comments to her blog.

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Jack is doing well. Taking summertime for all it's worth. I received a note from his radiologist and neurosurgeon last week saying that the spots that are showing subtle change in his brain (different part from the original tumor site) are not presenting in typical tumor fashion. So what that means, nobody knows what is growing in Jack's head, it is not jumping out at them as cancerous at this time, but as it is ever so slightly growing they will continue to monitor it and see what happens. The spots will not pose a health risk immediately to him, so they will wait to biopsy if need be later.
Praying they are gone before our next trip. I have changed our family water supply over to distilled, I feel good about not feeding him aluminum with every refreshing glass full of water any more.

Praising God for His faithfulness along our journey.

June 24, 2009

Jantsen's Gift

Summertime and we are taking it easy. I have had several subjects or happenings to blog about, but whenever I get to the computer, just like Elvis, my thoughts had left the building.

I spent all of yesterday hanging out with my kids and their friends at Primetime then back at our house for a while. Primetime has a great deal in the mornings, unlimited putt putt, bowling, $10 arcade card, pizza and a drink for $14.99. I took a book to read and each of the kids had a friend along and they had a blast.

Before we headed out on our day of Primetime fun, my sister, Becky and her husband Dallas packed up their van and all the kids and moved on to the next leg of their journey, onward to Kansas to see Dallas' family. It was a quick two day visit but we all had so much fun. We all went and saw UP and it was their twins who are 2 years old first time to see a movie. They were old pro's it seemed, they sat in their chairs or on their parents laps and watched mostly in silence, except when something really exciting happened then they clapped or cheered. It was so fun to gaze down the aisle and watch their first big screen experience. All of my sisters kids are so fun and very well behaved, she homeschools the older two, so the younger two girls already know more than most kids starting Kindergarten. One of the twins discovered Jack's coin collection on the top of his dresser and decided to see what a penny tastes like and swallowed it. After a call to her doctor she was advised to give it time to work it way out of her system and it did successfully so that was a relief.

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I love to read. I haven't always loved to read, but I really just didn't know what I was missing out on. My reading hasn't been consistent over the last couple of months because work has kept me busy. I took yesterday to relax after my out of town wedding, then company, I needed a day of down time. I finished the book Jantsen's Gift.
I loved the book. Pam Cope along with Aimee Molloy wrote the book. I loved the writing style, it was very conversational and very authentic. The book is a true story based on Pam's life, the death of her 15 year old son, the crisis of depression afterwards and the journey of serving children all over the world who need her help.

Pam felt that her life was full of every material blessing, but very surface oriented. What was her purpose? Why would she still feel discontent after she finished decorating a room, or buying the perfect pillow for the living room? She never felt fulfilled. Then Jantsen died a sudden death and even though it took a lot of pain and suffering along the way she was able to look outside of her life and see what was happening in the world around her. It took that new level of suffering to understand suffering in the world. Pam has not stopped helping the children who are the least of these in our world. She and her husband started a non-profit called Touch A Life
and Pam has been featured on Oprah and had many articles written on her life. Her book Jantsen's Gift was released this year.

It was a book that touched my heart in so many ways. I am grateful for having read it.

A side note about the book is that I had met a couple of people who are in the book. Pam's brother in law, Mike lives in Abilene. And Fred Asare who runs the orphanage in Uganda that Pam speaks about was here at ACU taking classes. He was still running the orphanage from long distance, and getting a degree on top of that. When I took the class by Dr. Wray, Spiritual Formation, Fred was enrolled in the class also. I had the opportunity to hear bits and pieces of his work when Dr. Wray would ask him questions and that was such a blessing. I didn't know he was in the book until I read his name on the page. It was a "wow" moment for me.

I am so inspired by people who spend their lives taking care of the helpless, that is certainly my dream too. Mother Teresa, Pam Cope and Fred Asare are all now on my list of hero's.

June 16, 2009

My Phone Etiquette

I have owned a cell phone of some sort for about 10 years now. My first 7 or so years had the same flip phone and when it broke I moved to my beloved iphone. I love my iphone. For the first several months I could often be seen in the midst of a group with my head down checking email, googling something....over the last year I have been convicted to make the person in front of me more important than my phone. Hellooooooo, was that a news flash to me or what? It could be a clerk at Target, or a friend I am visiting with, but unless there are extenuating circumstances I just silence my phone when it rings to honor the person that is in my presence. Some people have to answer their phone because they are employed by someone who says, "you have to answer your phone." But for me, in the case I have to call someone back in 5 minutes, I imagine I will be with them sometime and need to silence my phone and they wont be made to feel that they aren't as important as the person on my phone. I really like to be an encouragement to the people God brings into my life, face to face. I think this is one way to let that person know they are important to me.

Most places in our country don't have front porch neighborhoods anymore, often times we barely even know those who live around us. Our computers have made it so we don't need to leave our house for much except work, and now our cell phones have made it common place to be on the phone in a grocery store, never making eye contact with those around us, checking out while still talking and leaving the store never even acknowledging the people around you or giving a smile so someone who might really need it.

If we turned the Good Samaritan into a modern day tale, likely it would have the first two people who unknowingly walked by the person on the street who needed help, but never even noticed their presence because they were caught up with their phone conversation. The third would be someone who wasn't attached to some form of electronic device or phone and have eyes to see what God is putting in front of him.

I have been the first type long enough, it is time to lift the scales from my ears and eyes and pay attention to the world around me again.

June 15, 2009

Holistic....Really?

Monday lunchtime. Woke up early to get on the computer today to try and keep up with editing for sittings and weddings. It's a busy time. Took the kids to the library to turn in their movies and get some new ones. I love the library.
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Rob and I saw Terminator Salvation on Friday night. I loved the first 2 Terminators, but alas this is not even in the same realm. It did have some cool computer effects but the script was so lacking in my opinion that even the explosions didn't make up for it.
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Denise recommended a great kids book to read, it was called Savvy. It was a BlueBonnet book so it had won some awards or something. I read it, my kids had other books on the top of their lists for summer so far. It was a fun book, probably meant for pre-teen age to read. I thought it was fun. It was based on a certain family who upon their 13th birthday they receive their "savvy" kind of like a super power of some sort. I loved the main characters savvy, she could hear tattoo's talk.
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I talked again with a sweet mom of a girl who had brain cancer at about Jack's same age. One of the many who have gotten cancer in their kindergarten years in our area. It had been several years since I had first spoken to her. She is so gracious and helpful. I am going to look into some holistic options for Jack during our interim time of waiting. Her daughter had exhausted her traditional treatments and the cancer was terminal, the doctors had sent her home. This mom took her daughter to a health care facility in San Antonio that treats patients holistically. This little girl who was terminal when she was 7, after receiving her holistic treatments graduated last year from Wylie. I had remembered that the mom had told me that the healthcare facility had discovered that her daughter's body was reacting to the aluminum in the water in Abilene. Apparently Abilene add's aluminum to clean our water, helps the silt fall to the bottom. At the time of her daughters treatment the treatment plant in our area added more aluminum than the other treatment plants. Not everyone's body reacts the same to aluminum, but the healthcare center in San Antonio said they have never seen a childhood tumor that wasn't caused by aluminum. The healthcare facility also told this mom that if Abilene continued to add aluminum that there would be an increase in childhood cancer in our area....living that.

I have really dragged my feet on the holistic route, not because I think it is wrong or bad, but because of my own rebellious nature. My mom was very holistic in nature and she always made me feel bad for taking my kids to the doctor, getting their shots....So I tend to not want to embrace it for some weird personality flaw in myself. I need to look at all the options.

Right now Jack is in a waiting period and it would be a good time for us to at least meet with the Holistic Health Care Center and find out our options. But one thing I have done is ordered a Water Distiller. In my opinion there is such a great amount of kids that are diagnosed with cancer in our area that it had to be something associated with the water table, something natural or something that was added to the water. We will all drink distilled water, which is even cleaner than Reverse Osmosis water to at least do what I can in that area.

Most people will never have to deal with deciding it could be a life threatening issue for their child to drink water from the tap, but for some genetically disposed kids it could make a difference in their health.

I researched distilled water and there is of course a lot of controversy either way. Some people say that if you don't drink tap water you wont get the minerals that your body needs. Some people say that Reverse Osmosis is the best. And others that Distilled Water is the best. Dr. Andrew Weil, who I believe to be a great source for health and nutrition advocates Distilled water. But after talking to this mom yesterday and all of her experiences, and having a daughter that is free of cancer and a terminal diagnosis of brain and spine cancer, I will go with their route.

I do have an inner peace when following this direction. I am not a big believer in "signs," of course I believe in the Holy Spirit that guides us if we will listen. But whether by coincidence or if it was the push I needed this was Jack's fortune at lunch 2 hours after we got the results of his MRI.



I never even thought twice about it that day, in fact I thought, yea right...Jack eat healthy, that will never happen. Then a couple of days later I remembered my conversation from years ago with this mom, and then I remembered Jack's cookie message.


I do believe this is the way the Lord is leading me on this. Otherwise I would just like to sit back and let the doctors be responsible for my son's health, and even though it is the easy way, it doesn't seem to be the right way at this moment in time.

Please join me in prayer for wisdom and discernment on this next part of our journey.

June 13, 2009

I Choose To Rest In the Soft Places of My LORD

Our latest In depth bible study started yesterday at my church. We are watching the 2007 Deeper Still Conference with Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore and Kay Arthur. Each women speaks twice, so it is a 6 week study that includes the 5 days of study in between classes. I had started this study on my own over Christmas break. I had asked for the audio cd version of this study and listened to it in my car, then bought the workbook to do along with it. I got about 4 days into the homework and knew that this was so good that we would do it at church and put it aside for when I could do it with the class.

I am looking back on my homework from 6 months ago, the first several days of the first week and isn't it funny how so much can change and God brings His word to us just when we need it. When things are quiet in my life and I am not having to hold on to the Lord tightly I can almost feel myself floating in the opposite direction, not out of rebellion but out of comfort and ease. My answers are all honky dorry in the book, now if I was to reanswer those questions they would not be so easy. Jack's MRI last week has given me a week of anxiety that left on my own accord messes with my head. I am SO grateful to God to be bringing such a timely study of His word into my life at this very moment. I am just so grateful for His peace in my self created madness.

God is certainly calling me to rest in His soft places. Not tiptoeing through the thorns of created scenarios in my imagination. Because of God's word and His call thanks be to God I am confidant that I am heading towards Him in this...it is a daily walk, God's mercies are new every morning, and His grace is so freely given to fill what I lack.
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I love this quote from one of God's faithful followers, George Meuller:
"The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith. The beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety." Then the commentary that follows: Our anxiety always stems from a desire to control and indicates that we have ceased to trust the Lord. When we are depending on the Lord to handle the people and circumstances in our lives, the outcome will be an existence virtually free from worry, anxiety, and fear. Peace will begin to flow like a river in our everyday living.

Jesus put it this way:

"And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don't worry about these things, saying, "What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?" These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs"
Matt. 6:30-32 NLT

June 09, 2009

2nd Installment - How I Back Up My Image Files

2nd installment of how I back up my pictures.
1st Installment - Hard Drives...cheap storage, easy to use, takes no time at all to transfer files. Love my hard drives.

What do you do when your hard drive fails? Good question. I have always backed up my pictures in two different locations. I would like to make sure everyone realizes...I am a simpleton. There are so many different options on how to back up your pictures...I like to keep it short, simple and easy. For me I download my images into a folder in my computer first. I don't take them into any program first, i.e. lightroom or iphoto. I download the images to a folder, then drop that folder into my file system on my hard drive like I previously stated. Once I have a back up copy made I take the original folder and put it in lightroom, my editing software, I LOVE lightroom, it is a sleek, high performance piece of work. It makes it possible for me to batch change large amounts of images at the same time.

I edit my images and then I export my "tweaked" versions into a new folder and back that folder up onto my hard drive. So now I have my originals and my tweaks backed up. Then...I burn these onto a disc, I use DVD's because my file sizes are large and I am normally backing up hundreds of images at once. I can burn about 700 images onto one DVD.

This does take time, it is pure drudgery, but I can touch it, file it, hold it in my hands, just like I could do with negatives. I like having a hard copy. I wish that I would feel secure without the burned disc, but alas, it helps me sleep at night. Once I finish my proof albums and know that I am done with the images for a while I delete them off my computer to open up space for what is going to be downloaded next. I have a 500 gig hard drive on my computer and I fight to keep about 100 gigs of that clear so my computer runs quickly and without slugging along. Once my editing is done I have all versions backed up onto my hard drive and burned onto a DVD. One of those might poop out on me, but the likely hood of both freaking out is so slim that I am covered.

Other options for those of you who do not need to back up several thousand images a week...there are several.

I have on-line storage back up space with my MobileMe acct. on the Apple website. I also have an account with Smug Mug. I thought that Smug Mug might be my second source rather than burning to a disc (because did I mention...drudgery), but it takes all night for me to upload a large sitting, doing that several times a week and keeping my computer working for days on end to upload to smug mug doesn't sit well with me. I like to give the old mac a rest at night. For those that have a couple hundred of images to back up each week this would be a great option. I paid $40 for a year of unlimited storage with smug mug which is very reasonable. Smug Mug's storage lives on the Amazon servers.
Shutterfly and Flickr are two other types of on line sights, and I know there are many more, that you can upload.

For those of you that shoot RAW. Shane J. asked me about backing up RAW images, Smug Mug doesn't take RAW files. I shot RAW for several years and my back up of images was the same as it is now, hard drive then burn to a disc. I now shoot JPEG only. If there is a situation I am going into and for some reason feel like I need to shoot RAW I will, but that hasn't happened but once in the last year. Once I learned my camera inside and out and felt comfortable adjusting all the buttons and dials I can shoot proper exposure on the fly, so for me RAW was just larger files that I was never needing.

What is RAW? Many of you probably know, some might not. A RAW photo file is like going to the grocery store and buying all the ingredients you need for your cake then bringing it home and baking it when you are ready for it. You can mix up the ingredients, add a bit more of this or that, the world is your oyster, you have all the ingredients to make the cake you want and remake it anytime you wish, the files size is about 2 1/2 times the size of a regular jpg file. When you shoot RAW your camera records basic info then let's you put it all together later on your computer. A JPG photo file is like a cake that is baked at the store, you bake that cake and you better like it because your limits have been set, all the different ingredients to putting that pic together have been mixed, baked and cooled. I know and respect many photographers who shoot one or the other, it is all in what they are comfortable with.

Then Shane asked about how I back up my Lightroom catalog. I back up my catalog onto my hard drive. When Lightroom starts up it gives me the option to make a back up of my catalog, sometimes I say yes, most of the time I say no ; ) About once a month I back it up and then go into my library and find the Lightroom back up and transfer it over to my hard drive. This way all my tweaks on my images are saved for future reference.

There are some other very good ways to back up, but like I said, effective, short, simple and easy is the way for me to go. There are entire books devoted to backing up images that would serve those who are looking for more advanced or just plain more information on backing up data, like RAID systems, personal servers.

For me it is simple, put it on a hard drive, put it on a DVD and sleep well at night.

The worst thing to do is NOT to back up your images, choose your method and go with it. Stay consistent. One day you will be grateful that you did.

Any questions?

June 07, 2009

Ft. Worth Zoo Pics

After our morning at Dallas Children's last week we decided to have some fun before heading back to Abilene. We drove to Pei Wei in Ft. Worth and ate a wonderful lunch then went to the Ft. Worth Zoo. It was a beautiful day, not too hot, and not windy...which seems to be a rarity these days.

Elaine, Rob's mom, was with us for the trip and we were so glad she came along. It made the trip so much more fun. Here are some pics of the kids at the zoo.





Girl Power!!


These two birds were fighting for the food on Jack's food stick. He was slightly freaking out ; )



June 04, 2009

Jack's MRI Report

Thursday night. Home from Big D and Jack's MRI and follow up visit. Jack's tumor area that had been treated over the past several years is still looking great. No change there, thanks be to God. I wasn't worried in any capacity that there would be a return of growth in this area, as always it is a rubber meets the road time that brings up feelings that we don't have to deal with any more on a daily basis. But I wasn't worried about any regrowth, God removed that tumor. There was however some changes in the left lateral ventrical that has caught the attention of the radiologist. Several spots that when today's MRI is compared to an MRI a year ago has shown some subtle changes. Compared to the MRI from 6 months ago there is not even a noticeable change.

So what does that mean? That means that something is slightly changing over a pretty long period of time. I asked Dr. Bowers about this change, is it typical? He said it is not typical and truthfully he had nothing of any real substance to tell us because he was not sure of what they were looking at, just that it needed to be monitored. Several spots.

I would like to have walked out of that office today with a clear report for Jack, I was not expecting to hear about several spots. But c'est la vie. Life is never without bumps in the road. I will just go on expecting those spots to go away, or not change, pray for that, and daily lift any anxiety I have up to God. It will be His peace and strength that will see us through these next months and years just as it has been for the last 4 and I would have it no other way. Thanks be to God for His constant assurance.

June 02, 2009

Lesson 1 - How to Back Up Photograph's

Just finished working on my computer this morning. About to turn it off and get some housework done, do my Shred video, then hang with my kids this afternoon. I have all sorts of plans...plant a shoot from my beautiful new purple wandering jew plant into another planter...this is a big deal for this inept gardener, maybe make some peach preserves with Sophie. The peaches at the store were so good and a pretty good price so I thought she might enjoy learning how to can preserves today.
My goal is to work 6 hours a day on my computer while my kids are home, hope I can keep it to that.
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How do you back up your images from your camera?

I have so many people ask me this question. How do I keep my pictures safe? When I began to shoot digitally it seemed like a huge step just for me to get my images from my camera to my computer, making a folder was another big step. Sounds silly now looking back to that several years ago, but for me there was a huge learning curve with digital photography. I didn't switch my business to digital as early as I had wanted to because I knew it was going to be SO hard to learn how to work the camera, computer, photoshop...I was right too. It was hard, but I knew it was the best thing for my business. A lesson I learned very early in my digital experience was to back everything up. I lost hundreds of family pics because my computer failed. For years I was diligent in backing up my professional work but a little laxed in family pics. Now I have it all down to a system, I treat my family pics just like my work pics and they are all safe.

I will be writing a series of posts on backing up your images and some other helpful tips, so stay posted this summer.

It is not a matter of if your computer will fail, it is a matter of when. Could be a virus, could be an internal problem, could be that it is old and is going to give out at some point. But if you back up your images you will not be faced with the sickening feeling of years of documentation of your families life disappearing into nowhere.

Today I will share the first thing I do when I download images onto my computer. I put them on a hard drive. What is a hard drive? A piece of equipment that plugs into a usb or firewire port that is easily used to drop files from your computer into. It is extra storage space. You can plug it in or unplug it easily.
I use the Seagate Hard Drives they have a good reputation, but there are other great brands out there too. They sit on the back of my desk, right now I have 5 of them that I can see. I have filled 4 and am working on a 5th. They come in all different sizes. I normally buy what is on sale...the last one I bought was around 400 gigs of space. Because of my business I will fill that up in less than a year.

When I first buy the Hard Drive because I am a Mac User and most hard drives are configured for PC's I have to reformat using relatively easy instructions from the box. That takes about 5 minutes and I am ready to start moving data and pics over.

Cost ranges based on hard drive space, but they are normally found in the range of $79 - $250. I buy mine at Best Buy because it is convenient. But you can order them on line also. I am going to be checking out a mac hard drive that I saw a write up about that you can buy from the Apple Store the next time I need to buy. A great website I check is buy.com.

Lesson One done. Hard Drives...easy, inexpensive, convenient. But what if your hard drives fails? That's for the next post.

June 01, 2009

Summertime is here.

The kids finished school Friday and have had a full weekend with lock in's and sleepovers. At this very minute Derek is watching a dvd from the library while eating Ramen Noodles and Jack and Sophie are crashed out asleep on their beds. I shot an amazing wedding weekend. So many wonderful blessings and a lot of images to edit. I just wanted to check in to say hello! Summertime is here and we are loving it. I will check in again soon.